A study of love, hate, pain, and joy.
My first question is about choice. I've always heard that certain things in a UH (Universal Healthcare) system are hard to come by. Such as waiting 18 months for prescription eyeware, or check-ups for that matter. Is this just not true, or an exaggeration? Like, could I just decide to get my hearing checked and get an appointment set-up with-in a day or two under a UH plan?
I guess that would be more availability than choice :).............Sorry, But since I mentioned choice, is there different options in regards to doctors and hospitals with a UH plan? Right now I have a BlueCross/Blueshield PPO, so I can see pretty much any doctor I want.
sorry, I didn't see this. In France, there is no "waiting list" for glasses. I explained about the Mutual Insurance. Mutualists are like regular opticians, I go to a mutualist optician, they do the eye exams and you order your glasses as you would from a regular optician. Perhaps a mutualist won't have the full range of designer styles a regular optician has. In fact, I use the mutualist for eye exams and fill my prescription through a company based in Long Island...39 Dollar Glasses which has a very good range of designer styles, plus sunglasses in all of the high tech thin coated lenses.My eye exams are free because of the Mutual plan....as I said, I pay 18 dollars a month which covers the cost of any extra costs the government doesn't cover.As far as doctors appointments, for tests, there is no "waiting list" here.You make an appointment. I had to get a series of blood tests done last year. Frankly, all I had to do was get a the prescription from my doctor and walk into an authorized pharmacy. The Pharmacies and the medical system are interconnected. Every big city has a few pharmacies which have trained techs on hand to do blood work. Tis was free. I just walked in.I had to have some allergy tests done a few years ago, before I was totally covered, but all I needed was the prescription for the test, I called the specialist and it was scheduled as fast as it could have been in America. The allergy tests cost me 22 Euros. If I had been under the system at the time, it would have cost me 2 Euros and my Mutual would have reimbursed me. I just had my teeth cleaned...it was free. My wife cracked a tooth at a lunch two weeks ago, we drove to our dentist and managed to catch him before he left late in the day...he stayed late and repaired the tooth and you guessed it, we were reimbursed totally.Here, you can see any doctor you want. All doctors participate in the system. Obviously, every procedure is not covered under the System. My wife's chirophratic back treatment is not covered.Cosmetic dentistry is not totally covered...the basics false teeth related issues are. I can get glasses with my mutual free, but sunglasses aren't covered.I can see any doctor I want, when ever I want. My commune (Hautefort) is building a new state of the art medical center which will be open next year. Here, I can make an appointment, go in and get tests pretty much at my leisure. If you are getting a full big clinic check up scheduled by the system and it's not an emergency or urgent, then you make an appointment for a date in the future. and there could be a wait, but that's if I would be notified by the Medical System that I was eligible for a full range check up in Perigueux....which woud be totally free, but the results would be transmitted to my doctor here in Hautefort.In my original piece, I related an incident which required an emergency visit on a Sunday from a doctor. It just took a phone call and a doctor from the Village of Cherveix-Cubas came with in an hour.I had a friend who was allergic to wasp venom who was suffering from an extreme reaction on a Sunday night...we called the emergency number, we live in an extremely rural location so the fastest way to rendevouz was to meet the doctor on the road up on the National Highway 89 at 1 am in the morning. The doctor administered an anti venom shot right there. Our friend was an American, we got billed perhaps 40 dollars, this was before Euros so it was francs...I hope this answers or clarifies some of your questions about how this works and the efficiency. We should talk about pre and post natal care, the availability of birth control and counseling to young people and the services and the care for the aged. Here, parents get maternity and paternity leave when a child is born.In spite of all this and because of all of this, the French are probably the most productive work force in the Western World...in spite of our cursed 35 hour work week!
One more thing, when I explained about Mutualist Opticians, when you get glasses, under full government coverage, of course you are very limited in the styles and types of lenses that are totally covered if you can't pay more, but you will not be denied glasses. If you want more expensive styles and custom high tech lenses, then this is what is covered under your Mutual plan, but waiting lists? No, this is not an issue for an appointment or for delivery.
I'm going to make pone more comment here before I have to go back to work today. Obviously no system is perfect. No bureaucracy will ever perform as it is expected to on paper. I think to refer to France as a socialist country in a negative sense is to miss the entire point of what the history of European socialism is about. Until the late 1930's the Communist Party of France and the Socialists and allied parties were bitter enemies. Could you read Emile Zola please?But, that said, France is a western capitalist system. When we talk about the coverage of the Health care system and how it functions for the poorest and to meet the needs of the average french citizen, we have to take into account that there is a monetary, profitable medical system here as well.The level of care is as in America, based on what you are willing to pay.The base level though is much higher than it is in America.We have the best Heart surgeons in the world here now and much ground breaking research is French. Obviously, if you are wealthy, you will get the best luxury treatment, but on the other hand, I can get a prescription for a government covered stay at a spa like Vichy or La Bourble or Mont D'Or which even at it's most basic, would be a luxury health retreat for most Americans.
I agree. I think socialism is thrown around like a dirty word. I've often wondered what would be wrong with a government controlled banking system. At least, we would be able to vote for the C.E.O.'s.
Please, let's talk about pre and post natal care. I am also curious about birth control and planned pregnancy in a UH society.
Oh, one more. Since you pay a monthly fee for your 'mutual', does that mean that the taxes for the French were not affected by healthcare?
Birth control is not a dirty world here. Students have access to counseling and birth control. There are condom vending machines on the street outside of every pharmacy. This has been incorporated, by the way into style. I'm wearing a pair of plaid shorts that has a clever little snap pocket in the front. When I bought the shorts, I asked the salesman what the little pocket was for...he told me it was a handy place to put your "preservatif".Abortion was illegal here until the 70's. It was the concentration camp survivor, Simone Veigh who led the womans rights movement to make it legal.I was checking stats and France does have one of the lowest teen birth rates in the world. It's a fact that an unplanned pregnancy is rare. I think another reason there are less teen unwed mothers here is because the attitude towards sexuality is a lot different than in your artificially prudish society. Nudity is not shocking. Sex is depicted in prime time TV, erotic and natural but of course not to the point of pornographic is a normal way that a director would tell a story. This enforces a more open, healthy less furtive and neurotic attitude towards sex.Post natal care...Mothers and fathers are guaranteed paid leave from their jobs. Nurses aides will come and visit out here in the country to do follow up and provide care as along as it's needed. This extends to care for the elderly. There is an extended network of "Rest Homes" through out the country and every one can go into one if they need to, but at the same time, one has access to many different in home services to promote independence. You can get government paid help to do chores in the house if you qualify...free....Yes, we pay for this in our taxes. I tried to make this clear earlier, but the taxed funded government system guarantees the basic coverage that every person is entitled to and keeps the doctors subsidized.The Mutual Insurance is coverage above what you are entitled to. It guarantees that I will have a private room in a hospital. It pays me back for any expenditure that I have to pay in medical expenses because I am not totally covered by the system because I am not destitute. As I tried to explain, I have to pay a few Euros for a doctors visit and prescriptions that is not covered by the system.It pays for dental procedures that are not covered by the system. It pays for designer glasses. With out the Mututal, if I wanted glasses, I would be forced to take the cheapest frames.So, I pay a small amount of taxes and then above it, 18 Euros a month for a Mutual policy. If you tried to allocate the percentage of tax I pay per month with the Mutual, then my health care coverage would average around 20 Euros a month. Perhaps 25 dollars US. For coverage that can be counted on and covers more with out the hassle, a minimum of paper work, in fact, it is the docotrs who do the paper work....than any comparable insurance system in the USA.What do you pay? If you would want socialized medical care, then you'd have to go into politics....
Babies in the United States have a higher risk of dying during their first month of life than do babies born in 40 other countries, according to a new report. Some of the countries that outrank the United States in terms of newborn death risk are South Korea, Cuba, Malaysia, Lithuania, Poland and Israel, according to the study. Researchers at the World Health Organization estimated the number of newborn deaths and newborn mortality rates of more than 200 countries over the last 20 yea